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Test Driven Development: By Example Paperback – November 18, 2002

ISBN-13: 078-5342146530 ISBN-10: 0321146530 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Clean code that works--now. This is the seeming contradiction that lies behind much of the pain of programming. Test-driven development replies to this contradiction with a paradox--test the program before you write it.

A new idea? Not at all. Since the dawn of computing, programmers have been specifying the inputs and outputs before programming precisely. Test-driven development takes this age-old idea, mixes it with modern languages and programming environments, and cooks up a tasty stew guaranteed to satisfy your appetite for clean code that works--now.

Developers face complex programming challenges every day, yet they are not always readily prepared to determine the best solution. More often than not, such difficult projects generate a great deal of stress and bad code. To garner the strength and courage needed to surmount seemingly Herculean tasks, programmers should look to test-driven development (TDD), a proven set of techniques that encourage simple designs and test suites that inspire confidence.

By driving development with automated tests and then eliminating duplication, any developer can write reliable, bug-free code no matter what its level of complexity. Moreover, TDD encourages programmers to learn quickly, communicate more clearly, and seek out constructive feedback.

Readers will learn to:

  • Solve complicated tasks, beginning with the simple and proceeding to the more complex.
  • Write automated tests before coding.
  • Grow a design organically by refactoring to add design decisions one at a time.
  • Create tests for more complicated logic, including reflection and exceptions.
  • Use patterns to decide what tests to write.
  • Create tests using xUnit, the architecture at the heart of many programmer-oriented testing tools.
  • This book follows two TDD projects from start to finish, illustrating techniques programmers can use to easily and dramatically increase the quality of their work. The examples are followed by references to the featured TDD patterns and refactorings. With its emphasis on agile methods and fast development strategies, Test-Driven Development is sure to inspire readers to embrace these under-utilized but powerful techniques.


    About the Author

    Kent Beck consistently challenges software engineering dogma, promoting ideas like patterns, test-driven development, and Extreme Programming. Currently affiliated with Three Rivers Institute and Agitar Software, he is the author of many Addison-Wesley titles.


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    Product Details

    • Paperback: 240 pages
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (November 18, 2002)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0321146530
    • ISBN-13: 978-0321146533
    • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
    • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
    • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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    Customer Reviews

    Kent walks you through a good way to develop code: write the test code as you write the actual code.
    Author is clearly technically very strong and his style of writing is just amazing: it exposes material in short, clear and easy to understand steps.
    Nikola Radovanovic
    If you've never done or are curious about TDD, this is a great book to carefully walk you through learning how and why to do it.
    Amazon Customer

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Koenig on February 4, 2003
    Format: Paperback
    The are a small number of writers who can teach programming skills effectively. Kent Beck is one of them. There are a small set of practices that you can adopt on your own that will have an clearly observable impact on the quality of your results and the quality of your work day. Test Driven Develoment (TDD) is one of them. If you are a software developer, you want to buy, read and study this book.
    TDD fits development into a three micro-phase cycle: create a test that embodies your requirement, write code that passes the test, make the code run clean. Each phase has different goals, patterns and pitfalls. Like any good coach, Beck walks you through these in detail. He uses multiple examples: most notably a business model in Java and a unit testing framework in Phython. He follows up with a question and answer section that reviews common patterns in test driven development cycle.
    The level of learning involved in doing TDD is profound. The best way to read the book is to do the book. Skills come from doing not reading. I did the examples (in another language) and it made all the difference in what I learned.
    A footnote for managers: TDD is the opening wedge for a set of practices known as extreme programming (XP) or agile development. Test driven development is powerful enough to work on its own for the single delevoper. If you want to realize its full value, however, you need to embrace the full set of XP practices for the whole organization.
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    46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on November 28, 2003
    Format: Paperback
    If you've never done or are curious about TDD, this is a great book to carefully walk you through learning how and why to do it. After following its practices a bit, I've also found it an indispensible way to write new projects, modules, and code. However, the book doesn't address what happens when:
    - The code base is old, and doesn't have any tests or isn't designed testable. It makes it hard to do anything other than introduce integration-level tests and tweak to success.
    - You're writing UI code for a serious application. It's straightforward to solve for a dialog framework, but when you're integrating with a major windowing framework that embeds serious functionality (Avalon, in my case), there are a whole set of issues he doesn't talk about.
    - Design is part of your deliverable. I don't disagree that you can get pretty reasonble designs out of TDD & refactor. But I *do* disagree that, in practice, you get designs intended to version well, that your company is willing to support for the next decade or more. I've seen the code produced, and it just doesn't happen.
    A good introduction, nonetheless. But watch out before you put on the preacher-hat after reading it and doing the exercises -- at least try to do it in part of one large, real-world product.
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    49 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Jason on March 12, 2004
    Format: Paperback
    This Kent Beck title is an introduction to the world of Test-Driven Development (TDD). The book teaches the concepts of TDD by working through two complete sample projects. Along the way, Beck gives the reader valuable insight into the thought process and techniques behind successful test-driven development. When the reader has finished working through these sample projects, he should know enough about TDD to get started working on a TDD project.
    The book is divided into three sections. The first two sections are each walkthroughs of the aforementioned sample projects using TDD. The third section is a collection of notes and useful tips to try to get the most out of TDD. If you've ever read anything from Beck, then you should be familiar with his style. If you haven't, Beck is an engaging enough writer, and the text flows smoothly and is fairly pleasant to read.
    It would help to be familiar with some member of the xUnit family prior to reading this book. Beck uses Java and JUnit for the first section, but never really goes into discussing the JUnit API. Readers unfamiliar with xUnit may have no idea how to proceed with writing their own tests using one of these frameworks. True the API is simple enough that its functions may be ascertained simply by reading the code, but this is no reason not to provide explanation. The second sample project is an actual implementation of xUnit, so a bit more information may be gleaned here. Beck made the curious decision to use Python as the language of implementation for the second project, although he does provide explanation of the language's fundamentals. Finally, none of the sample projects are really complicated enough to do more than get us going on the path of TDD.
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    11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Luke Meyers on March 27, 2006
    Format: Paperback
    Many other reviewers have, with some justification, bemoaned the crunchingly slow pace of this book. Yes, the book moves through its examples slowly. Yes, sometimes Beck's mock humility comes off more than a little snide. It's not perfect on those counts, but please keep in mind that this is a book about a _process_, not a _result_.

    The first example takes up almost half the book just to go through a pretty minimal implementation of a multi-currency representation for money. If this were a book about how to implement money representations, it would be a dismal failure. But of course, that's not the point at all -- the point is to use an example that's simple (so as not to be distracting), but just complex enough to produce adequate talking points to drive a discussion about test-driven development (TDD).

    TDD is incredibly important, surprisingly late in arriving as a TLA unto itself, and Beck certainly gets points (cf. the review about "90% is just showing up") for producing a good straightforward introduction that's sorely needed. Nobody's going to come away from this book feeling filled to the brim with facts and sophisticated techniques. It's a short book (around 200 pages), and its pace is unhurried. What it does is focus on _fundamentals_.

    TDD is all about buyin -- once you "get religion" and become "test-infected" (per Gamma), you've got a solid basis to grow from. It's about habits, and habits can be hard to teach. What's obvious to one person is mysterious to the next. Beck's approach of "sit here with me and listen to my thoughts on a simple, representative problem" is perfectly adequate. It concedes (repeatedly) that some of the steps are obvious, but the pages quickly and one never feels truly bogged down.
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